Mark – God is on our side!
When teaching a group of students, no matter what the age, we use this phrase many times. “Watch me, I will show you how to do it.” As a science teacher who taught hands on science, technology, engineering and math, we said this phrase many times daily as we introduced experiments, computer engineering, robotics, weather forecasting, forensics and much more. Many were apprehensive, at first, until we said, “Don’t worry, I will show you how, then you will do it!” “It will be awesome”, I also added, because I was excited to see them do it!
I remember these moments as a teacher as we watch Jesus compassionately tell his student disciples, “Come, follow, I will show you how…” Jesus’ mission from God was to seek and to save the lost, restoring God’s people to a right relationship with Him. God loves us. God seeks us. God is on our side!
But how do we come back to God? Jesus knew. Jesus knew the answer. Jesus WAS the answer. Jesus’ also knew it was imperative that He teach these young minds to show and tell others how to come to God. I can almost see Jesus’ eyes, body language and hear His voice say, as he called them out of the boat as fishermen onto the beach, “Follow Me, it will be awesome!”
There is another time Jesus reminds his followers, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-39, MSG)
“Watch how I do it.” Then do it. Yes, God is on our side!
Mark 1, NLT
The First Disciples
16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.
Because Jesus preached with authority, He was able to call men from their regular occupations and make them His disciples. Who else could interrupt four fishermen at their work and challenge them to leave their nets and follow Him? Several months before, Jesus had already met Peter, Andrew, James, and John, and they had come to trust Him (see John 1:35–49). This was not their initial call to faith and salvation; it was an initial call to discipleship.The fact that Zebedee had hired servants suggests that his fishing business was successful and that he was a man of means.
It also assures us that James and John did not mistreat their father when they heeded Christ’s call. With the help of his servants, Zebedee could still manage the business. Jesus did not invent the term “fishers of men.” In that day, it was a common description of philosophers and other teachers who “captured men’s minds” through teaching and persuasion. They would “bait the hook” with their teachings and “catch” disciples.
It is likely that as many as seven of our Lord’s disciples were fishermen (John 21:1–3). Surely the good qualities of successful fishermen would make for success in the difficult ministry of winning lost souls: courage, the ability to work together, patience, energy, stamina, faith, and tenacity. Professional fishermen simply could not afford to be quitters or complainers!
Yes, Jesus, who knows all hearts, chose well. Aren’t we glad, thankful and deeply grateful?
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are going to prove to us, over and over again, through the writings of Mark, that you are on our side! You are for us. You teach us then you send us to learn more. How amazing is your love for us! Thank you for showing us daily how to live and how to share YOUR story with others seeking You. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. I love your Word that shows us how to live in the “unforced rhythms of your grace.”
In Jesus Name, Amen